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TURNING POINT: Beware the Reign of Greed

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NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 09 April) — The rapid advances in science and technology have greatly improved food production; produced medicines, vaccines and medical equipment and processes to prevent various diseases or heal the sick. Travel is also made faster and comfortable and with information and communication technology, gaps among cultures are narrowing, a development that would supposedly foster greater understanding and harmony among peoples.

Unfortunately, on the ground, the fruits of science exacerbate human greed rather than engender compassion and promote peace and unity among mankind. Individual greed that expands into corporate greed leads to the excessive and unsustainable exploitation of the natural resources the benefits of which are enjoyed only by a few.

Forests that provide habitat, oxygen, water and food to diverse lives are being mercilessly logged out, destroying the ecosystem and biodiversity.

Hundreds of kilometers of fishing nets that are used to maximize harvest become instruments in ghost fishing, trapping unintended ocean dwellers when they are cut off fishing vessels to save the latter during extreme adverse weathers. The loose nets drift in the oceans for years and years, catching and killing marine lives, which benefits no one.

Indeed, greed, expressed in excessive human wants, fuels the accelerated degradation of the environment that results to global warming and the consequent disasters of climate change.

In another front, the advances of science and technology have resulted to the sophistication of the weapons of mass destruction that threatens the extinction of the human race and dissolution of the planet.

Evidently, moral development lags far behind material and technological advances. The gap is so huge, the emptiness of which is filled by greed and the prevalence of callous souls.

The lust for power is the worst of all greed. Such greed deliberately corrupts, insidiously deceives and ruins lives without qualms.

What is currently happening in Ukraine illustrates a vivid example. The devastation of Ukrainian cities and the massacre of the civilian population results from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s lust for power, dominance and world recognition, the savagery of his ambition of which pales that of Hitler’s.

In our current political landscape, we witness a dangerous candidate whose ambition exceeds his known capacities and whose only clear and unquestionable credential is his being the son of the dictator who landed in the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest and most notorious thief of modern times. 

Marcos Jr., a thief himself being an inveterate tax dodger, has the audacity to bid for a stay in Malacanang, evidently to recapture the family’s hold to power and influence and dismiss their accountability and huge obligations to the Filipino people. In the effort, the country’s history of two decades of corruption, plunder and murder under the atrocious reign of Marcos Sr. has been rigorously revised to glorify the man so as to varnish the credentials of the junior.

Awash with inexhaustible resources from the family’s ill-gotten wealth, Marcos Junior is unquestionably the most formidable pretender to the topmost post of the land. If not stopped, he may yet secure what he shamelessly covets and may soon follow the disastrous footsteps of his father.

Beware the reign of greed.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.)

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